First-time claims fell by 20,000 to 331,000. Last week's total was revised from 348,000 to 351,000.
In the current week, the four-week rolling average of first-time jobless claims rose by 250 to 334,000.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week that ended Jan. 25 were in Indiana with 5,407 additional claims, Massachusetts with 1,050 and Nebraska with 12.
The largest decreases were in New York, where claims fell by 7,083, Texas with a drop of 4,152 and Michigan, where there were 3,929 fewer claims.